All good things come to an end. That includes perky breasts. Gravity eventually takes its toll on the ligaments responsible for holding up the girls. Resistance is futile. Resistance training is not, but there's only so much it can do. Glands, not muscle, make up your breasts. Strength training targets the muscles around the breast and upper back, and creates the illusion of firmness. No gym, no problem. Elastic resistance bands do the job.
Manufacturers color-code their bands according to their resistance level. Purchase a few different colors to create progressive workouts. Elastic resistance bands are available as jump-rope-shaped tubes with handles on each end, and wider, flatter bands. Different types of bands suit different exercises. Most companies make an attachment device, which lets you secure the band to an immobile object. If no such device is available, ask a partner to hold the opposite end of the band.
Creating a Program
Perform this project droop control workout three times a week, with a rest day between sessions. Do three sets of 12 reps, but do fewer if fatigue compromises your form. Since breast tissue is basically fat, and fat is more prone to sagging, watch your weight and add aerobic exercise to your program. Consult your doctor if hand or wrist injuries make it painful to hold elastic resistance equipment. If you have a known latex allergy, ask the manufacturer about latex-free bands.
The Chest Fly
Even after your breasts surrender to the droop, the chest fly engages the muscles that pull your breasts toward each other and create mesmerizing cleavage. Secure the tubing to a stable object at medium height. Stand sideways and grab one handle, keeping your arm extended out at shoulder height and your palm facing forward. Maintain a slightly flexed elbow and pull the band across your body's midline. Return with a smooth, controlled movement. To work your upper and lower chest, vary the exercise by securing the band above shoulder height and down near your feet.
You've seen what the social networking slouch posture does to your belly. Imagine what it's doing to your breasts. Sagging might be as inevitable as death and taxes, but poor posture hastens the process. Strong upper-back muscles defy gravity and keep your posture on the up and up. Balance your chest-fly cleavage-enhancing workout with the seated row. Sit upright with your legs extended, and wrap either an elastic flat band or tube-type band around your feet. Crisscross the band, hold each end with each hand, and bend your elbows, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Straighten your arms with control.
The additional engagement of the posture-stabilizing core and back muscles makes the pushup an efficient pectoral exercise. As you tone your pectorals, you also activate the muscles that help fight the war against the forces of gravity. The band adds additional challenge. Place a wide, flat resistance band across your upper back and hold each end on the floor. Contract your abdominal muscles and bend your elbows, lowering your chest toward the floor. Do only as many reps as you can perform without arching your back. If necessary, perform the exercise on your knees.
Push and Row
By providing additional upper-back work, the pushup and row helps balance your muscle groups, improve your posture, and possibly, slow down the breast-dropping process. Bend your elbows and perform the band pushup. Straighten your arms and engage your core to stabilize your back. Next, perform a one-arm row by squeezing your right shoulder blade against your left. Straighten your arm, repeat the pushup, then repeat the row on the other side.
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.